Not that I'm saying that is why they are doing it, it's the right thing to do, it's a great thing to do.
This was 100% due to our concern for the community and the stories coming out of the East Coast about all those impacted. We all came together--multiple departments across the company--and rallied quickly to make this happen.
It was very, very cool to witness.
Also why waive fees rather than make a donation to the Red Cross or other relief organisations?
Crunchbase puts Airbnb funding at $220 million (with $100 million raised this September) so there seems to be a fair bit of cash floating around.
The goal is for both Airbnb and the Airbnb community to come together to help those impacted. It's not just waiving the fees that will help, but also hosts opening up their homes to those displaced.
I'm not sure what is the point of asking this is. Lessening the cost of accommodations for people in these areas can sometimes have just as much of a direct influence as donating to a relief organization. Airbnb could've easily taken this opportunity to raise the fee due to say, rising demands (ahem... Uber) or done nothing at all (because they have no obligation) but instead opted to make it slightly easier financially.
Is there anything to stop Airbnb hosts from raising prices?
> the brand recognition and coverage they'll get
> from doing this will more than make up for any loss
Uber increases prices (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4725789)